First Bank Basketball Club of Lagos defeated their city rivals, Mountain of Fire Miracles (MFM), 44-27 to win the 2022 Crown Elite Basketball Championship in Lagos.
The team was made to work their socks off from the first quarter down until the last quarter of the game as MFM were no pushovers in the competition.
The arena, Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, was filled with fans cheering the teams as the final match lived up to expectations and to the delight of the organisers.
First Bank also got the N1.5 million prize money in the championship to cap their achievements in the outgoing season.
MFM’s hard work and brilliance were also rewarded with N1million prize money for the runners up while the third-place winner, Bayelsa Strong, went home with N500,000.
First Bank’s playmaker, Murtanatu Musa, was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the competition.
Their Coach, Taiye Adeniyi, who praised the organisers, urged more passionate fans and corporate bodies to help in developing the sport in Nigeria.
She also said that the competition had brought the best out of the players, adding that many of the players discovered in the championship could make the national team.
”It was a great competition, I really appreciate the efforts of my girls for putting up a great performance to emerge champions.
”We met great opposition in MFM; of course, we know what they can do and we were prepared and ready to work harder on the ball.
”What really gave us victory today is the fact that we were better organised and determined to win and I’m happy it came out that way,” Adeniyi said.
Similarly, Head Coach of MFM, Ochuko, said that she was happy with their performance but was also hoping they won in the finals.
”We had a brilliant approach to defend and do more on the offensive but unfortunately it did not come the way we expected.
”Sometimes it happens this way and we just have to go back to the drawing board and put up a better performance next time.
”We really say thank you to the organisers for all they have done and for making the competition a huge success. Indeed it is a noteworthy experience.
”In a situation where we hardly see anything competition it feels good to have this event and most especially a very highly contested one where other teams also rose up to challenge for the title,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hanson Oguche, the President Crown Elite Basketball Championships, said that he was pleased with the success of the competition and was motivated to do more.
He said they wanted the edition, the third in the series, to be much bigger and had to invite teams from other parts of the country and from Africa.
”This year’s edition has been wonderful. We factored the women in the competition for the first time.
”We also brought motivational speakers to relate with the players and inspire them on education and life after basketball. We wanted to impact their lives through education and sports.
”’We were encouraged that they understand that learning a skill is very important as it can go all the way to attain much greater heights in life.
“We wanted them to understand that after basketball they can always fall back on something that can carry them for many years of their life.
”We look forward to many events like this as we had teams coming in from Togo and other parts of the country; in the future it is going to be an African International event,” Oguche said.
The Crown Elite Basketball Championships which dunked off on Aug. 21, was rounded off on Saturday with eight teams competing for the championship trophy and prize money.
The other teams that featured are Kada Angels of Kaduna, Black Gold of Abia, Etoile Filante of Togo, University of Lagos Girls and Raptors Basketball Club of Lagos.
Four male teams – Mo Heats of Abuja, Lagos Legends, University of Lagos and Ebun Comets of Lagos – took part in the exhibition games.
Mo Heats of Abuja were the winners of the exhibition games. nan.